Does Chinese Research Hinge on US Coauthors ? Evidence from the China Initiative

Philippe Aghion, Celine Antonin, Luc Paluskiewicz, David Stromberg, Xueping Sun, Raphael Wargon, Karolina Westin

Research output: Working paper


Launched in November 2018 by the Trump administration, the China Initiative was meant
to “protect US intellectual property and technologies against Chinese Economic Espionage”.
In practice, it made administrative procedures more complicated and funding less accessible
for collaborative projects between Chinese and US researchers. In this paper we use information from the Scopus database to analyze how the China Initiative shock affected the volume,
quality and direction of Chinese research. We find a negative effect of the Initiative on the
average quality of both the publications and the co-authors of Chinese researchers with prior
US collaborations. Moreover, this negative effect has been stronger for Chinese researchers with
higher research productivity and/or who worked on US-dominated fields and/or topics prior to
the shock. Finally, we find that Chinese researchers with prior US collaborations reallocated
away from US coauthors after the shock and also towards more basic research.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


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